Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mariano Rivera, On Former Dodgers Closer Jonathan Broxton

Took me a while to find this one, but back in the September 23, 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated, a number of people close to Mariano Rivera gave quotes about the future Hall of Fame closer. And buried in there was a comment about our own Jonathan Broxton, after our disastrous 2009 NLCS loss to the Phillies:

Mike Borzello, Yankees bullpen catcher from 1996 to 2007: When I was with the Dodgers [in 2010] I asked Mariano to meet Jonathan Broxton. He was our closer and had had a rough postseason the year before. So we're shagging at Dodger Stadium, and Mariano comes running over, and they start talking about Matt Stairs. Broxton had walked Stairs on four straight pitches [in the 2009 NLCS, against the Phillies]. Mariano immediately brings that up. He says, "Last year I was watching the game and there was nobody on and you walked him on four pitches." Broxton wound up giving up a double [three batters later] to Jimmy Rollins that ended the game.

Mo asks him, "How come you walked that guy?" Brox goes, "I don't know." And Mo goes, "No. You know. You walked him because he hit a homer off you the year before to win a game."

Brox goes, "Yeah." And Mariano says, "One thing you have to do as a closer is if a guy beats you the day before, he has to be the guy you want to face the next day. It's, O.K., you got me, but let's go again."

That shows how Mariano is. Mariano really believes that. He's not afraid. He always believes, You got me that time, but I'll get you the next.

For what it's worth, I think Kenley Jansen definitely has more of that confidence than Broxton does, making him a far more suitable closer. But hearing Rivera's approach, and the fact that he took time out to teach others about that approach, is pretty cool.

photo: Getty Images


rbnlaw said...

Great, another reason I can't dislike that guy. Too much class to be a Yankee for so long.

Good on Mo.

QuadSevens said...

He's got a good memory. He remembered a postseason at bat two years removed that he wasn't invovled in. But his memory isn't so good that he dwells on things. Very good mentality.